TIP Development & Project Selection

  1. How do the State, the MPO, and transit operators collaborate on the development of the TIP?
  • EC staff works with staff at WisDOT Northeast Region on a regular basis to determine federal and regionally significant state funded project status throughout the TIP process. We update costs, year and implementation status for the 4-year programmed projects as well as out-year projects. The main update is carried out though the spring and summer with adoption in the fall. Amendments are determined throughout the year as needed.
  • Staff also works with WisDOT Bureau of Transit, Local Road and Harbors to approve and amend transit grants and TAP projects as they awarded. Many of the projects are forwarded to the MPO for inclusion in the TIP after the TIP is approved, so amendments are usually required.
  • MPO staff works with Valley Transit to determine capital and operating needs to be listed in the Appendix B (Transit) section of the TIP. Staff also includes descriptions to analyze the financial capacity, as well as paratransit funding and details. The TIP is distributed to WisDOT and Valley Transit to review for accuracy.
  1. What is the MPO’s process for determining which projects are included in the TIP? How are projects prioritized for each funding source? Who decides which of the prioritized projects are selected for funding and included in the TIP?
  • The MPO collaborates with local communities, WisDOT and Valley Transit, as well as other applicants to provide opportunities to incorporate projects in the TIP. The MPO solicits projects for STP-Urban candidates yearly and uses an established ranking system to prioritize these projects. The ranking process considers numerous factors and criteria, as well as including bike/pedestrian accommodations to be considered for federal funding. Criteria for ranking include; plan consistency, preservation to existing system, pavement condition, traffic operations, freight operations, barrier crossings, safety, volume to capacity, and years in the TIP. These projects must be included in the local communities Capital Improvement Program to show ability to fund the local share of the project. Valley Transit’s 5310 projects are ranked for operating and capital requests and run through the Selection Committee.
  1. What steps are taken to ensure the TIP is consistent with the MTP and projects are drawn from the adopted plan? What are the criteria and process for prioritizing the implementation of MTP elements through the TIP?
  • The MTP projects listed as long-range or short-range projects, long-range projects are listed as illustrative and short-range projects are the programmed projects with funding commitments. We work closely with local communities to solicit illustrative (long-range) projects to be included in the MTP and short-range locally implemented projects. Staff also works with WisDOT to include illustrative and funded projects (NHPP, STP) are included in both documents. These projects are recommended by staff, are reviewed by the Fox Cities Transportation Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC) and Transportation Committee prior to approval by the Full Commission (Policy Board).
  1. Discuss criteria for major and minor amendments and how they differ. How are changes in the funding source (fed, state, local), federal funding programs, and federal and state funding amounts handled? How are changes communicated to the public, State and Federal partners?
  • A major TIP amendment is required when adding a non-exempt/expansion project to the first four years of the TIP, including advancing a project for implementation from an illustrative list or from the out-year of the TIP, or when a project is equal to or greater than total federal funding programmed for the calendar year, or $1,000,000. This amendment requires a 30-day public involvement opportunity and processed through MPO committee structure and WisDOT.
  • A minor amendment needed when adding an exempt/preservation project to the first four years of the TIP, including advancing a project for implementation from an illustrative list (Table A-1) or from the out-year of the TIP. Minor amendments are processed through MPO committee structure and WisDOT, public involvement also are handled through the committee process. Changes in costs, funding sources and change of year described in the formal TIP amendment documents and then distributed to WisDOT, FHWA, FTA after Policy Board approval. Amendments are advertised in local papers and MPO websites. The amendment process is detailed in the MPO Public Participation Plan and TIP documents.
  1. What changes in operating procedures does the MPO envision as a result of TMA authority for selection of projects not on the NHS? What questions does the MPO have concerning this authority?
  • No major changes are expected, the MPO has an extensive ranking process that has included the requirement for bike/pedestrian facilities prior to the Complete Streets law. There will be the possibility of selecting projects such as the purchase of buses for Valley Transit with STP-Urban funding due to the inability to fund through capital requests.
  • A TIP Guidance document that summarizes the authority of the TMA in regards to preparing the TIP would be helpful.

Please be prepared to discuss the following at the meeting. A written response is not required.

  1. What steps are taken to ensure TIP accurately reflects current priorities? How is system performance monitored and considered in programming projects?
  2. How does the MPO develop and use grouped projects? How is the cost estimate determined? Who maintains the list of individual projects supporting the grouped project?
  3. What is the MPO’s process for involving the public in the TIP development process? How is public involvement incorporated in the TIP development process?
  4. How does the MPO monitor and keep decision-makers informed about TIP implementation during the year?
  5. TIP procedures allow implementing agencies to advance projects from years 2-4 of the TIP for federal funding commitment without further action by the MPO. Discuss this expedited project selection procedure and where it is documented.
ECWRPC website